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HD600 vs HD650 - Initial Thoughts

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I've been comparing these two for the past hour.

 

So far, I'm liking the HD600 quite a bit more. But first, I should start off saying they both sound very similar. Main differences include the HD600 having a larger soundstage, more neutral and balanced sound, and being more upfront in general. Rapidly comparing the two reveals both are still relatively mellow headphones, but the HD600 breaks the HD650's mold of being a bit too sleepy. Bass wise, the HD650 seems to only have a touch more, and in fact is not all that noticeable. HD600 generally sounds superior in sound, even though the HD650 is still quite good.

 

Hmm, I should probably throw my Q701 and D2000 into the mix as well. Four way shootout tonight...

 

I also tried cable swapping between the HD650 and HD600. Contrary to popular belief, the HD600's stock cable sounds better on itself than the HD650's cable. When I use the HD650's cable, it gives it more brightness while doing something sorta strange to the mids (a tad bit of recession I presume). Yeah, the HD650's is more durable, but I don't find the HD600's a problem at all. It's also kinda nice because it fits snug, yet is easy to pull out. The HD650 on the other hand is a beast to remove! It's getting a bit easier, but still...

 

Man, just need the T70 to throw into this bonanza of headphones...

post #2 of 45

The HD 650 has a "bigger" sound for me. It's like everything is louder and more euphonic. The HD600 is more forward and more neutral IMO, but soundstage is about the same. The darker background made me think that the soundstage of the HD650 was smaller as well, but when I tried to visualize the instrument placement, they were approximately at the same place. As an all-arounder, the HD600 does more genres, being good with most of them, and few weaknesses. The HD650 does its specialties better than the HD600, while being average at best on its weak points.


Edited by idletime1213 - 8/30/11 at 7:38pm
post #3 of 45

Heya,

 

You got me at T70.

 

The others? Meh.

 

More on topic, I always liked the HD580/HD600 over the HD650. It just sounded right.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

Alright, did a bunch more listening to both of these.

 

I'm still favoring the HD600 more. Vocals seem to draw me in a lot more, as well as just presenting me with a better experience over all. The bass on the HD650 is quite impressive, but I swear the extension is a bit deeper on the HD600. Both have some of the most "well rounded" bass I've ever heard, and it's quite nice. Presentation wise, the HD600 is still more realistic and involving for me, not to mention, it does sound more "right" than the HD650.

 

Soundstage is pretty close, but HD600's is still bigger in my opinion. The HD650's is pretty nice as well, but it seems to have a different layout than the HD600. It's hard to describe, but it seems more oval, while the HD600 seems more circular -- if that makes sense. All I know is there are a few songs I test specifically for soundstage, and after listening to the intro to the expansive soundstage segment like 5-10 times in a row with the HD650 and then hurry and switch to the HD600, I'm like, "Woah! Where did all that come from?" It sounded more spacious and enveloping.

 

Don't get me wrong, both are great, and there will be *plenty* of fans for both; but I'm still finding the HD600 superior.

 

Oh, by they way. Anyone remember my D2000 vs HD650 comparison? Well, HD650 got it's revenge now and I prefer it greatly over the D2000.

post #5 of 45

Wish I had an HD-600 to do a recabled HD-598 vs HD-600 comparison...don't tempt me.

Having both the K601 and HD-600 just feels a bit pointless. I don't know why!

post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

 

Oh, by they way. Anyone remember my D2000 vs HD650 comparison? Well, HD650 got it's revenge now and I prefer it greatly over the D2000.



Yeah I remember that thread. For some reason I had a feeling you would prefer the HD650 one day. It just didn't make sense how your headphones preference was so bipolar at the time. If I recall correctly you went from D2000 to AD700 to PRO900 or something like that..lol

 

You think you can list all the headphones you heard and order them by preference? I'm kind of curious.

 

 

post #7 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobaccoRoad View Post

Yeah I remember that thread. For some reason I had a feeling you would prefer the HD650 one day. It just didn't make sense how your headphones preference was so bipolar at the time. If I recall correctly you went from D2000 to AD700 to PRO900 or something like that..lol

 

You think you can list all the headphones you heard and order them by preference? I'm kind of curious.


Yeah, I had a slight feeling on that too. Preferences have changed, as well as me having a better amp.

I went from the DT880 to HD650 to D2000 to Pro 900 to AD700 and down the "open headphone" road.

 

All of the headphones I've heard? That would be majorly hard to put all 50 of them in order! biggrin.gif

My top 3 favorite would have to be: HE-500, HD600, HD650. Lot's of runner ups for 4th and 5th.


Edited by Katun - 8/30/11 at 9:49pm
post #8 of 45

To my ears, the 600/650s have a very similar sound signature when heard thru a high quality CD transport/DAC/preamp/hp out.  I'll give the 650's a slight edge on the low bass reproduction, but mids, trebles, sound detail and staging was too close to call.   I can't comment on earlier threads suggesting the 600 is less amp dependant than the 650s, and that the 650s scale-up better. This topic has been hashed-out previously and the only consistent comment appears to lie in the bass response to the 650s  which is supported by the frequency response graphs comparing the 600/650.  I think the HD600/650s are both outstanding hps by the way.

post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

Alright, did a bunch more listening to both of these.

 

I'm still favoring the HD600 more. Vocals seem to draw me in a lot more, as well as just presenting me with a better experience over all. The bass on the HD650 is quite impressive, but I swear the extension is a bit deeper on the HD600. Both have some of the most "well rounded" bass I've ever heard, and it's quite nice. Presentation wise, the HD600 is still more realistic and involving for me, not to mention, it does sound more "right" than the HD650.

 

Soundstage is pretty close, but HD600's is still bigger in my opinion. The HD650's is pretty nice as well, but it seems to have a different layout than the HD600. It's hard to describe, but it seems more oval, while the HD600 seems more circular -- if that makes sense. All I know is there are a few songs I test specifically for soundstage, and after listening to the intro to the expansive soundstage segment like 5-10 times in a row with the HD650 and then hurry and switch to the HD600, I'm like, "Woah! Where did all that come from?" It sounded more spacious and enveloping.

 

Don't get me wrong, both are great, and there will be *plenty* of fans for both; but I'm still finding the HD600 superior.

 

Oh, by they way. Anyone remember my D2000 vs HD650 comparison? Well, HD650 got it's revenge now and I prefer it greatly over the D2000.


It may be the more prominent treble of the HD600 giving this impression. I understand what you mean though. The HD650 soundstage expands horizontally when I change tubes, cables, hdams/opamp.

 

post #10 of 45

Katun

Thanks for the comparison.  How would you compare the HD600 to the DT880 - especially from the point of view of overall balance, and presence of the mid-range?  I'm seriously looking at the HD600 now - and I know the DT880 quite well - so your thoughts would be appreciated.

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Katun

Thanks for the comparison.  How would you compare the HD600 to the DT880 - especially from the point of view of overall balance, and presence of the mid-range?  I'm seriously looking at the HD600 now - and I know the DT880 quite well - so your thoughts would be appreciated.


Well, these are just initial impressions. My comparison *might* come later. Haven't decided yet.

 

I know Beyer fans will hate me for this, but I think they are very dry headphones. Back when I had my first pair of HD650's, I compared them to the DT880 and DT990, and found my overwhelming preference was placed on the HD650. The DT880 just sounded too thin for me, not to mention it's very, very bright. Midrange is there, but sometimes the sound seems like it's sucking the life out of the music. The HD headphones on the other hand have a very full bodied and textured sound, that I find has better impact and enables a better experience. The HD600 for me combines my favorite qualities of brighter, more aggressive headphones, with slower and more lush ones. It's very smooth, has superb texture, excellent space, while maintaining very upfront and engaging vocals. Probably one of the best "well balanced" headphones I've ever listened to. Reminds me of the HE-500 actually.

post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by idletime1213 View Post

The HD 650 has a "bigger" sound for me. It's like everything is louder and more euphonic. The HD600 is more forward and more neutral IMO, but soundstage is about the same. The darker background made me think that the soundstage of the HD650 was smaller as well, but when I tried to visualize the instrument placement, they were approximately at the same place. As an all-arounder, the HD600 does more genres, being good with most of them, and few weaknesses. The HD650 does its specialties better than the HD600, while being average at best on its weak points.



Good synopsis.  And, especially, thanks to the OP for his thoughts.  Good stuff. 

post #13 of 45

Any opinion on whether the sound sig on the HD600 is very different from the HD598?

post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

Any opinion on whether the sound sig on the HD600 is very different from the HD598?


Ah, I remember those. Fantastic headphones. Just not very resolving.

 

I think going from the HD598 to HD600 is a fantastic upgrade path! Everything I wanted more of in the HD598, I got in the HD600. It's just a more refined version in general. As an exception, the HD598 has a lager soundstage and some mention the mids being a bit better. Personally, I find the soundstage of the HD600 plenty big enough, and actually am finding it more enveloping and spacious than the drunken soundstage of my Q701's over here...

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

I know Beyer fans will hate me for this, but I think they are very dry headphones. Back when I had my first pair of HD650's, I compared them to the DT880 and DT990, and found my overwhelming preference was placed on the HD650. The DT880 just sounded too thin for me, not to mention it's very, very bright. Midrange is there, but sometimes the sound seems like it's sucking the life out of the music. The HD headphones on the other hand have a very full bodied and textured sound, that I find has better impact and enables a better experience. The HD600 for me combines my favorite qualities of brighter, more aggressive headphones, with slower and more lush ones. It's very smooth, has superb texture, excellent space, while maintaining very upfront and engaging vocals. Probably one of the best "well balanced" headphones I've ever listened to. Reminds me of the HE-500 actually.


As discussed before this is an amping issue; the DT880/600 are either very demanding (About the same as a top-tier ortho) or very-very picky. I haven't found a solid-state I enjoy the DT880s on, save for maybe a GCHA with it's 10-watt output, they all sounded as you described; thin, little to no bass, subdued mids. The HD600 on the other hand are very easy to power and not picky at all. I owned these at the same time as both a $200 solid-state Meier Headfive and a $800 Singlepower PPX3 SLAM tube amp and they sounded almost identical.

 

Sufficiently amped I like both phones and consider them favorites, I give the edge to the Beyer for the livelier performance.

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